Key Dates for U.S. Presidents
These are key dates for U.S. Presidents. Students may wish to see a "bigger picture" of the dates when presidents served. I plan on having all of them in a list and breaking them down into decades. This is a work in progress. Should be done soon. Oct 22, 2012.
You may be interested in the page listing the presidents by the years they were in office. (Chronological Order)
1752 Washington inherited Mount Vernon
1760 Thomas Jefferson entered the College of William and Mary.
1767 Jefferson began practicing law.
1768 Jefferson began building Monticello.
1768 Jefferson was elected to the Virginia Legislature.
1772 Thomas Jefferson married Martha Wayles Skelton.
1772 Jefferson's daughter Marhta was born.
1774 Washington was a delegate at the First Continental Congress.
1775 Revolutionary War began with the Battles at Lexington and Concord.
1775 Jefferson served at the Second Continental Congress.
1776 Declaration of Independence was written. Thomas Jefferson is given credit for th writing of the Declaration of Independence.
1776 Washington's troops crossed the Delaware River and won a key battle at Trenton, New Jersey.
1776 As a Lieutenant in the colonial army, James Monroe crossed the Delaware River with Washington
1777 Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation.
1779 Thomas Jefferson was elected governor of Virginia.
1781 British General Conwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown.
1782 Martha Jefferson died.
1783 Adams helped negotiate the treaty to end the American Revolution.
1784 Jefferson served as the American minister to France.
1787 Washington lead the convention in Philadelphia where the U.S. Constitution was drafted.
1787 Andrew Jackson began to practice law.
1788 The Constitution was ratified by the states.
1789 At the first session of Congress, Washington was elected President.
1789 John Adams was appointed Vice President.
1789 The French Revolution began.
1790 Washington appointed Jefferson as his Secretary of State.
1790 John Quincy Adams begins to practice law.
1790 James Monroe was elected to U.S. Senate
1792 George Washington was re-elected President.
1794 Washington appointed Monroe as a mister to France.
1794 Jay Treaty was signed.
1794 James Madison and Dolley Payne Todd married.
1794 John Quincy Adams is appointed U.S. Minister to the Netherlands.
1795 Northwest Indians signed the Treaty of Fort Greenville. This gave most of Ohio to the U.S.
1796 Washington declined a third term. Adams defeated Jefferson in the election.
1796 John Adams defeated Jefferson in the presidential elections.
1796 Andrew Jackson was elected to U.S. Senate.
1797 Adams won a close election for President over Thomas Jefferson.
1797 John Quincy Adams marries Louisa Johnson.
1798 Andrew Jackson was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
1799 George Washington died.
1799 President Adams sent troops to Pennsylvania to force farmers to pay a federal land tax.
1800 John Adams and his family moved into the unfinished White House.
1800 William Harrison was elected governor of the Indiana Territory.
1800 Jefferson and Arron Burr tied in the election for president. 1800 Spain gives Louisiana back to France.
1801 The House of Representatives broke the tie for president by electing Jefferson as president and Burr vice president.
1801 Jefferson appointed Madison as Secretary of State.
1803 The Supreme Court declared a law unconstitutional for the first time.
1803 John Quincy Adams becomes a U. S. Senator.
1803 Monroe helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase.
1803 Louisiana was purchased from France. Lewis and Clark set off to explore the territory.
1804 Jefferson is reelected. 1808 Jefferson prohibited the importation of slaves from Africa.
1806 John Quincy Adams serves as a professor at Harvard College.
1807 John Tyler graduated from the College of William and Mary.
1808 Madison was elected president.
1808 Zachary Taylor became and officer in the U.S. Army.
1809 John Quincy Adams becomes U.S. Minister to Russia.
1810 Congress voted to resume trade with Great Britain and France.
1811 Madison appointed Monroe Secretary of State.
1812 British harassment of U. S. ships and the kidnapping of sailors resulted in Madison declaring war on Great Britain.
1812 Madison was reelected.
1812 Taylor fought in the War of 1812.
1813 Harrison won a victory at the Battle of Thanes. (War of 1812)
1813 Oliver Hazard Perry had an important victory in the Battle of Lake Erie.
1814 Washington D.C. is invaded by Great Britain. Dolley Madison rescued documents before the British burned the President's House. (It was not called the White House until later.
1814 The British attacked Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Francis Scott Key composes the Star-Spangle Banner.
1814 War with Britain ended.
1815 John Quincy Adams becomes U.S. Minister to England.
1815 General Andrew Jackson won a battle in New Orleans. Both armies didn't know the war had ended.
1816 James Monroe was elected President.
1816 Tyler was elected to U.S. House of Representatives.
1816 The second bank of America was established.
1817 Monroe appoints John Quincy Adams as Secretary of State.
1818 General Andrew Jackson invaded Spanish Florida and U.S. and Great Briton agreed to joint control of the Oregon Territory.
1818 James Polk graduated from University of North Carolina.
1819 Economic depression struck the nation.
1819 Jefferson founded the University of Virginia.
1820 Missouri Compromise was passed.
1820 James Polk began to practice law.
1823 John Quincy Adams helps Monroe draft the Monroe Doctrine.
1823 The Monroe Doctrine is announced.
1824 John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson run a close presidential race.
1824 William Harrison was elected to the U.S. Senate.
1825 The House of Representatives chooses John Quincy Adams as president.
1825 The Erie Canal is completed.
1825 Tyler became governor of Virginia.
1826 On July 4th Jefferson died a few hours before John Adams.
1826 July 4th John Adams died.
1827 John became a U.S. Senator.
1828 Andrew Jackson defeats John Quincy Adams for president.
1828 Polk was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1829 Jackson’s inaugural celebration was so rowdy that he was forced to flee the White House for the evening.
1829, October 5, Chester Arthur was born in Fairfield, VT.
1830 Elizabeth Monroe died.
1830 John Quincy Adams is elected to the House of Representatives. He served there until he died.
1830 Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act.
1831 James Monroe died.
1832 President Jackson was reelected President with Martin Van Buren as his Vice President.
1833 - Benjamin Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio.
1834 James Buchanan was elected to the U.S. Senate.
1834 Lincoln was elected to the Illinois State Legislature.
1835 James Polk was named Speaker of the House of Representatives.
1836 James Madison died.
1836 Taylor fought in the Seminole Wars in Florida.
1836 Abe Lincoln began to practice law.
1836 Van Buren was elected President is a close race.
1836 Siege of the Alamo took place. A few weeks later Texas won its independence.
1838-39 Fifteen thousand Cherokee were forced to leave their Georgia homeland. 4,000 died on the journey now called the “Trail of Tears.”
1839 Ulysses S. Grant entered West Point.
1839 Polk became governor of Tennessee.
1840 William Henry Harrison defeated Van Buren for the Presidency.
1840 John Tyler was elected Vice President.
1841 President Harrison dies one month after his inauguration. He is the first president to die in office.
1841 Tyler became President.
1841 John Quincy Adams wins freedom for the escaped slaves on the ship Amistad.
1842 Johnson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1843 Franklin Pierce Jr. died from typhoid fever.
1843 Rutherford graduated from Kenyon College.
1844 James K. Polk was elected President.
1845 Andrew Jackson died.
1845 Hayes received a law degree from Harvard University.
1845 President Polk appointed James Buchanan as Secretary of State.
1846 Lincoln was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1846 Mexican War began with Taylor’s troops engaging Mexican troops.
1846 Polk declared war on Mexico.
1846 U.S. and Britain settled the boundary between Canada and the Oregon Territory.
1847 Even though Taylor’s army was outnumbered, he won and important battle at Buena Vista.
1847 General Winfield Scott’s troops captured Mexico City. Mexico was defeated.
1848 John Quincy Adams died from a stroke.
1848 Gold was discovered in California. U.S. acquired California in a treaty with Mexico.
1848 President James K. Polk declined to run for a second term.
1848 Zachary Taylor became a general.
1848 Zachary Taylor, hero in the Mexican War became President and Millard Fillmore Vice President.
1848 Mexican War ended. Grant is a war hero.
1849 Dolley Madison died.
1849 James Polk died at his Tennessee home.
1850 after President Taylor dies unexpectedly.
1850 Taylor died unexpectedly of an intestinal disorder. Fillmore became President
1852 Louisa Adams dies.
1852 Fillmore lost the presidential election to Franklin Pierce.
1852 Pierce was elected President.
1853 President Fillmore sent Commodore Perry to Japan to establish trade pacts.
1852 Andrew Johnson was elected governor of Tennessee.
1853 Benjamin married Caroline Scott.
1853 President Pierce purchased land in present-day New Mexico and Arizona from Mexico.
1854 Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act that allowed residents of those states decide if they want slavery in their state. The Republican Party was formed to protest that act.
1855 Fighting broke out in Kansas over whether to allow slavery.
1856 Rutherford B. Hayes helped form the Ohio Republican Party.
1856 Abe Lincoln joined the Republican Party.
1856 James Buchanan was elected President.
1856 Andrew Johnson was elected to U.S. Senate.
1857 The U.S. Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision ruled that blacks could not sue in federal court to be citizens. March 6th.
1858 Stephan Douglas defeated Lincoln for a U.S. Senate seat.
1858 Garfield was elected to the Ohio State Legislature.
1859 John Brown's raid failed.
1859 Chester Arthur was appointed customs collector for the port of New York.
1860 The Republican Party nominated Lincoln for U.S. President.
1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President. South Carolina secedes from the Union.
1861 Eleven southern states seceded from the Union.
1861 Civil War began. Andrew Johnson was the only Southern senator to reject the confederacy and stay in office.
1862 Willie Lincoln (Lincoln's son) dies at age 11.
1862 Garfield was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1862 Martin Van Buren died.
1862 John Tyler died.
1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
1863 Congress enacted laws to draft soldiers.
1864 Lincoln appointed General Ulysses S. Grant Commander of the Union Army.
1864 Andrew Johnson was elected Vice President.
1865 Congress passed the 13th Amendment that abolishes slavery.
1865 Civil War ended.
1865 Lincoln was assassinated.
1866 Congress overrode President Johnson’s veto and passed the Civil Rights act of
1867 Congress passed the Military Reconstruction Act that establishing military rule in Confederate States.
1868 President Johnson was impeached but not convicted.
1868 Ulysses S. Grant was elected President.
1868 James Buchanan died.
1868 Hayes was elected governor of Ohio.
1869 Franklin Pierce died.
1870 The Fifteenth Amendments was passed giving African American men the right to vote.
1873 The Presidents salary is raised form $25,000 to $50,000 a year.
1874 Millard Fillmore died.
1874 Andrew Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate.
1875 Andrew Johnson died.
1876 The results from the Presidential Election are disputed. Congress made Hayes the winner.
1876 General Custer dies in the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
1877 After a very close election, a congressional committee declared Hayes the winner and President of the United States.
1878 The first Easter Egg roll is held on the White House lawn.
1879 Hayes signed an act allowing female lawyers to practice before the Supreme Court.
1880 Hayes declines to run for a second term.
1880 Theodore Roosevelt graduated from Harvard.
1880 Garfield was elected President.
1880 - Benjamin Harrison was elected to the U.S. Senate.
1881 James A. Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau. Garfield survived for more than two months. Garfield died of blood poisoning.
1881 Garfieldwas assassinated and Chester Arthur becomes President.
1881 Sept. 19th Chester A. Arthur became President.
1882 Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The acts blocks Chinese immigration to the U.S. for ten years.
1882 Grover Cleveland served as mayor of Buffalo, NY.
1882 Roosevelt was elected to the New York State Legislature.
1883 Arthur signed the Pendleton Act. The act addresses civil reform.
1883 U.S. acquired the naval station at Pearl Harbor.
1884 Grant loses his live savings.
1885 Grant died just after finishing his autobiography. His autobiography became a best seller.
1886 Chester Arthur died.
1888 William's grandson, Benjamin Harrison, was elected president. Benjamin Harrison defeated Cleveland in the Presidential Election.
1892 Cleveland was reelected President. He defeated Harrison.
1892 McKinley became governor of Ohio.
1892 - Caroline Harrison died.
1893 The US suffered from a severe economic depression.
1893 Cleveland sent federal troops to break the Pullman strike in Chicago.
1893 Hayes died.
1884 Cleveland was elected President.
1896 The Democratic Party doesn't nominate Cleveland for a third team.
1896 - Benjamin Harrison married Mary Dimmick.
1896 McKinley was elected President.
1898 Spanish-American war began. TeddyRoosevelt organizes a cavalry unit and became a war hero.
1900 Roosevelt became Vice President under McKinley.
1901 McKinley was shot and killed. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt becomes President.
1901 - Benjamin Harrison died in Indianapolis.
1904 Roosevelt was elected President.
1904 Work began on the Panama Canal.
1905 Roosevelt created the Forest Service.
1908 Grover Cleveland died.
1908 Taft was elected President.
1911 Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampic, Illinois on February 6, 1911.
1912 Roosevelt formed the Progressive or Bull Moose Party and ran for President. (He lost.)
1914 The Panama Canal was completed.
1919 Teddy Roosevelt died.
1915 Dwight D. Eisenhower graduated from West Point.
1930 Lyndon B. Johnson graduated from Southwest Texas Teachers College.
1932 Ronald Reagan graduated from Eureka College.
1935 Gerald Ford graduated from the University of Michigan.
1937 Lyndon Johnson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1937 Reagan began his acting career.
1940 John F. Kennedy graduated from Harvard.
1941 Johnson served in the U.S. Navy during WW II.
1941 Kennedy joined the Navy and served on a PT boat during WW II.
1941 Ford graduated from the Yale Law School.
1942 George Bush entered the U.S. Navy and serves in WW II.
1943 General Eisenhower was made commander of the allied forces in Europe.
1945 Truman named Eisenhower Chief of Staff.
1946 Jimmy Carter graduated from the Naval Academy.
1944 Truman was elected Vice President.
1945 President Roosevelt died and Harry Truman becomes President.
1945 Truman decided to use the atomic bomb.
1946 John Kennedy was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1946 Bill Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas on August 19, 1946.
1946 Richard Nixon was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1948 Bush graduated from Yale University.
1948 Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate.
1948 Gerald Ford was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1948 The Soviet Union blockaded Berlin, Germany.
1950 Nixon was elected to the U.S. Senate.
1950 The Korean War began.
1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected President.
1952 General Eisenhower retired from the army after serving 37 years.
1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected President.
1952 Nixon was elected Vice President and served two terms under Dwight Eisenhower.
1953 Eisenhower ended the Korean War.
1953 Robin Bush, daughter of George and Barbara died of leukemia.
1953 Jimmy's father died and he resigned from the Navy to run the family peanut business.
1954 The Supreme Court ruled that segregation in schools is unconstitutional.
1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus.
1957 The Soviet Union launched its first satellite into space.
1957 Eisenhower sent troops to help desegregate an all white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1960 Richard Nixon was defeated by John Kennedy.
1960 Kennedy was elected President and Lyndon Johnson, Vice President.
1961 U.S. directed an invasion of Cuba called the Bay of Pigs.
1962 Jimmy Carter was elected to the Georgia state legislature.
1962 Kennedy ordered a blockade of Cuba. (Cuban Missile Crisis)
1963 Martin Luther King gave his famous "I have a dream." speech in Washington, DC.
1963 John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
1963 Lyndon Baines Johnson became President when Kennedy is assassinated.
1964 Johnson defeated Berry Goldwater in the presidential election.
1964 The Civil Rights Act was passed.
1965 Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery takes place.
1966 Bush was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1966 Reagan was elected Governor of California.
1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated.
1968 More than 500,000 U.S. troops were fighting in Vietnam.
1968 Nixon was elected President with Spiro Agnew as his Vice President.
1969 Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin were the first men to walk on the surface of the moon.
1969 Dwight D. Eisenhower died.
1971 Richard Nixon visited China. (He was the first president to visit China.
1972 Harry Truman died.
1973 Cease fire in the Vietnam War.
1973 U.S. Senate began the Watergate investigations.
1973 Nixon picked Gerald Ford as his new Vice President when Agnew resigned due to bribery and extortion charges.
1973 Lyndon B. Johnson died.
1973 William Jefferson Clinton graduated from Yale Law School.
1974 Impeachment process started. Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford becomes President.
1974 Ford pardoned Nixon.
1975 George W. Bush earned a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
1976 President Ford appoints Bush director of the CIA.
1976 The U.S. Bicentennial.
1976 Jimmy Carter was elected President.
1976 Bill Clinton became Attorney General of Arkansas.
1978 William Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas.
1979 Militant Iranians took the U.S. Embassy staff hostage.
1980 A failed rescue attempt for the people held in the embassy fails. Nine service men died.
1980 Ford declined to serve as Reagan's vice president.
1980 Reagan was elected President. George Bush was his Vice President for two terms.
1980 Jimmy Carter was defeated in the presidential race by Ronald Reagan.
1981 The hostages in Iran were released the last day in office for Jimmy Carter.
1981 Reagan was shot and wounded in an assassination attempt.
1983 U.S. invaded Grenada. 1988 Bush was elected President.
1983 Obama graduated from Columbia University.
1990 Barack Obama became the first African American to be president of the Harvard Law Review.
1991 U.S. launches Operation Desert Storm. 1992 Bush was defeated by Bill Clinton for the Presidency.
1991 Barack Obama graduated from Harvard Law School.
1992 Clinton was elected as President. Al Gore was his Vice President.
1993 Sept. 20th 993 - Fleetwood Mac reunited to perform at Bill Clinton's inauguration.
1993 Reagan had Alzheimer and retreats from public life.
1994 George Bush was elected governor of Texas.
1995 Bomb destroyed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK.
1996 Clinton ordered missile strikes on Iraq.
1996 Clinton is elected to a second term as U.S. President.
1996 Obama was elected to the Illinios State Senate.
1997 Monica Lewinsky scandal hit the news.
1999 Congress acquited Clinton in the impeachment trial.
1994 Richard Nixon died.
2000 George Bush won a close presidential election against Al Gore.
2001 Terrorist attaced the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
2004 Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate.
2004 Ronald Reagan died.
2007 Barack Obama announced his run to become president.
2008 November 4, Barack Obama won the Presidential election. Joe Biden becomes vice president.
2012 November 6th Barack Obama won re-election.
The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004: http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/
Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002
Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
McCullough, Noah, The Essential Book of Presidential Trivia. Random House, USA, 2006
Pine, Joslyn, Presidential Wit and Wisdom: Memorable Quotes from George Washington to Barack Obama . Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, 2009
Huffington Post web site.
Lang, Stephen, The Complete Book of Presidential Trivia, Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, 2011
O'Reilly, Bill, and Dugard, Martin, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2011
St. George, Judith In the Line of Fire: Presidents' Lives at Stake , Scholastic Inc. New York, 2001In addition to these books, I have also read and have used information from those listed on my Books About Presidents page.
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This page was last updated on Friday, March 8, 2013
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